Documenting Sources - MLA Style

Citation Basics: MLA Style

To document the facts and ideas that you find and use in your research, create a list of sources of information (also known as 'works') cited and a series of references that indicate which facts and ideas came from which source (in-text parenthetical citations). The Modern Language Association (MLA) style of documentation is widely used in the United States.

For more detailed explanations and additional types of citations for MLA 8, please see the MLA Style Center page, What's New in the Eighth Edition

For examples and tutorials, visit the CCBC Library's Academic Literacy I: MLA 8 webpage.

Works Cited Basics

  • Double space all lines within and between entries. (The examples provided in the link below are single spaced to save space).
  • Indent one-half inch (5 spaces) before the second and all subsequent lines in the citation.
  • Include all sources actually cited in your paper.
  • If no author is listed, begin the citation with the title.
  • The first word in the title and the first letter of all major words in the title are capitalized.
  • Arrange the completed citations in one list, each item in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. 
  • If there is no author, alphabetize by title.
  • Abbreviate the names of all months except May, June and July.
  • Indicate missing information with n. pag. (no pagination), n.p. (no publisher) or n.d. (no date). 
  • All citations end with a period.
Caution: Citations provided by databases are not always correct. Verify for accuracy.

Formats and examples of citations, 8th Edition


Citation Basics: APA Style

To document the facts and ideas that you find and use in your research, create a reference list of sources of information cited and a series of references that indicate
which facts and ideas came from which source. The American Psychological Association (APA) style of documentation is widely used in the United States.
This form of writing research papers is used mainly in the social sciences, like psychology, anthropology, sociology, as well as education and other fields.

Formats and examples of citations, APA Style